As the Dakota Access pipeline deals with lawsuits aimed at closing it, other pipeline companies are anticipating an increase in demand for transportation and are expanding their pipelines. Also, the higher –risk and higher- cost alternative of transporting oil by tanker cars on railroads is seeing an increase, according the Oil Patch Hotline.
Kinder Morgan’s Highland crude oil pipeline, which carries 88,000 BOPD, which originates near Sidney, the pipeline e could be expanded with the addition of a new compressor to add another 35,000 BOPD in the next 12 to 18 months, according to CEO Steven Kean.
“So we have seen increased activity and interest in HH,” Kean told Wall Street analysts recently. “Our volumes were up this month versus last month. That is a function of, I think, really two things, concerns about takeaway, but also for reasons of priority of access to HH, people do want to maintain their history on the system. So we continue to see barrels that might have otherwise gone someplace else, and they’re continuing to come our way.”
If there was a shutdown of Dakota Access, it could expand the WTI differentials in the Bakken, he added.
Interstate Energy Partners, which is the parent company of Dakota Access, is appealing to the Federal District Court in Washington, DC, a recent decision by a judge to empty the pipeline while a 13-month environmental review takes place. The Dakota Access Pipeline moves 600 BOPD (Barrels of Oil per Day).
“It’s a bad broader message for pipeline infrastructure, but also for our business, particularly on the gathering side,” Kean said.
In the meantime, Crestwood Equity Partners said it is capable of moving 160,000 BOPD of crude oil by rail out of its Epping, ND terminal.
It is one of a dozen terminals capable of moving crude out of the state. About 300,000 BOPD—one third of North Dakota’s daily production, is shipped out daily on unit train tanker cars. Moving oil by rail has a greater environmental impact, poses greater environmental and safety risks, and costs more.
“In the event of a shut-down of the DAPL pipeline, Bakken basis differentials will be negatively affected in the short term until production volumes are reallocated to other pipelines and rail facilities,” said Crestwood President, Chairman and CEO Robert G. Phillips.


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